Is it time to get ready to rumble?

Peter Moore used to lead the line at Microsoft%26rsquo;s games division; before that he worked at Sega and helped launch the Dreamcast. Why the walk through Moore%26rsquo;s resume? Because he moved to EA last year and FaceBreaker is the first sign of where he feels the publisher%26rsquo;s been going wrong.

FaceBreaker aims to take the core gameplay of Fight Night Round 3 and push it through a cartoon filter, injecting arcade nonsense into the genre not seen since Sega%26rsquo;s Ready to Rumble series (which helped launch the Dreamcast - that Moore connection surfaces). Like Nintendo%26rsquo;s classic Mike Tyson%26rsquo;s Punch-Out, FaceBreaker is over-the-top boxing fun. The characters are the stars; big meaty powerhouses trade blows with lightweight but zippy flair fighters. The two boxers named so far are Romeo, a Latin fighter whose moves all stem from his passion for the ladies, and Molotov, a Russian boxer who bears an uncanny resemblance to King Hippo from Mike Tyson%26rsquo;s Punch-Out and packs a mean power punch. Every fighter, we%26rsquo;re told, will feel unique and all will feature their own special moves, attributes and styles - and of course, landing a slew of combos will power up your super gauge and enable you to launch a signature super punch.

Okay, so the gameplay is not entirely new. But we haven%26rsquo;t had an out-and-out arcade slugger in years, and FaceBreaker looks great. EA being EA, there is some new technology on offer here, most notably you%26rsquo;ll be able to scan your face in Burnout Paradise-style using a USB camera and stick it onto a custom-made boxer - ideal for online bouts. The calculations going on behind the scenes will also begin to deform your face as it%26rsquo;s hit; bruising, gashes and black eyes will appear as your online alter ego gets a thrashing.

Our favourite inclusion is the taunt. Again, it%26rsquo;s been done before, but FaceBreaker will let cocky players take to the ring with one hand tied behind their back. There will be nothing more infuriating than being beaten by a squeaky kid from Kansas who%26rsquo;s just smacked up your face, with one hand. Revenge will be mighty sweet. Bring it on suckers!

The game%26rsquo;swebsiteis promising to reveal a lot more about the game in the coming months. Log in and you could change the direction of the game, perhaps even help create a standout fighter%26hellip;

Mar 28, 2008

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